PETALING JAYA: Patrick Khoo Kian Wui, the victim allegedly roughed up by Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) officers during a stray dog round-up, received strong public support at the magistrate's court here today.
The 69-year-old was charged with obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty under Section 186 of the Penal Code.
Khoo arrived at 8.50am to find members of the community gathered in solidarity to rally behind him ahead of his charge.
A woman in her mid 30s, who only wanted to be known as Yvonne, expressed shock that the council officers had not been charged, despite turning against Khoo.
"It clearly shows a gap in the law, and it seems like those in power are willing to turn a blind eye," she said.
"If those in uniform are allowed to escape consequences despite the level of aggression they displayed towards an innocent civilian, it may pave the way for similar incidents to occur in the future."
Philomena Chan, 48, a long-time resident of Petaling Jaya, showed up at the courthouse today with the intention to understand the facts and raise awareness of the incident involving Khoo.
Chan pointed out that while there are systematic ways of approaching such incidents, this particular case unfortunately resulted in harm being inflicted upon an elderly person.
"I think the important thing right now is to highlight humanity, which extends across to our surroundings and not just ourselves. The public's support of Khoo is a reflection of the level of consciousness in our society and the demand for accountability in addressing such issues."
Chan emphasised the importance of enforcement officers carrying out their roles and responsibilities in a wise and accountable manner.
Shini Raman, 46, expressed her outrage at the lack of justice being shown towards the animals at the heart of the issue.
"Seeing Uncle Khoo, who tried to save the dogs, being treated this way is just wrong. I don't know what else needs to be done to make sense out of what has happened. We have all seen the video (online)," she said.
Animal rescuer Jessica T., 34, who was present to show support for Khoo, said the events that had occurred since the incident were indicative of a larger issue, concerning human responsibility or behaviour.
"I think there is a lack of community taking responsibility for the animal population, and the need for less draconian government intervention. What we really need is a collaborative engagement from both sides," she said.
Khoo's tussle with MBPJ dogcatchers surfaced after Facebook user Rekha Morgan shared her account of the incident along with videos and pictures.
Several videos showed Khoo trying to get the dogs into his factory premises at Jalan 18/17 Taman Kanagapuram.
Khoo alleged that he was roughed up and had injuries to his jaw, cheeks, and a cut on his wrist when confronted by an enforcer armed with a dog-catching iron rod.
On March 24, Khoo lodged a police report against MBPJ for alleged assault and fear for the welfare of two of his dogs and a puppy which were taken away.
On Wednesday, Petaling Jaya police chief Assistant Commissioner Mohamad Fakhrudin Abdul Hamid said Khoo would be charged in the Petaling Jaya magistrate's court under Section 186 of the Penal Code.